South Carolina Conservation Documents
The Assessment Matrix is the second part of
the Rapid Watershed Assessment, the first part being the subbasin (or
“watershed”) profile. There are 36 subbasins (or 8-digit HUA’s) in the
state and one subbasin profile for each HUA. There are
five Assessment Matrices for
each subbasin profile, one for each of the five major land uses, namely
crop, pasture, forest, hay, and wildlife.
The Assessment Matrix summarizes current
resource conditions and related maintenance costs. It also summarizes
desired resource conditions, conservation opportunities and related costs
and qualitative effects on primary resource concerns. The primary data
source for this assessment matrix is the dataset of conservation practices
applied in South Carolina from the National Conservation Planning Database (NCPD)
for the years 2005-2008 (inclusive) where a total of some 50,000
conservation practices were documented. This matrix does not use treatment
level (baseline, progressive, RMS) as a way of analyzing the data because
the NCPD does not contain this kind of information; in addition, resource
management systems are typically highly site-specific. The surrogate for
treatment levels used in this assessment matrix is the "top ten" approach
where the top ten conservation practices for each scenario (land use &
Common Resource Area) are displayed. Secondary data sources for this
assessment matrix include the 2002 Agricultural Census data on number of
farms and the SC-NRCS publication Summary of Natural Resource Concerns
(2007). Although the dataset spans four years all tables are annualized and
based on one year.
Subbasin Resource Profiles
Rapid watershed assessments (RWA) provide initial estimates of where
conservation investments would best address the concerns of landowners,
conservation districts, and other community organizations and stakeholders
within a watershed. These assessments help landowners and local leaders set
priorities and determine the best actions to achieve their goals.
The watershed resource profile compiles the best readily-available data,
A general description of the location, size,
and political units associated with the watershed.
Physical description including land use/land
cover, precipitation/climate, common resource areas, stream flow data, land
capability class, etc.
Known resource concerns.
Census and social data.
Status and history of resource conservation in
References and data sources.
Summary of Resource Concerns
This publication is a summary of natural resource concerns
in South Carolina. The perspective of natural resource concerns is more specifically, but not exclusively, in
relation to agricultural activities in the state.
This publication is arranged to address the themes articulated in the United
States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Strategic Plan for
2005-2010, Productive Lands, Healthy Environment (USDA-NRCS 2006). The Strategic Plan addresses the
following NRCS Mission Goals, namely:
- High-quality, Productive Soils
- Clean and Abundant Water
- Healthy Plant and Animal Communities
- Clean Air
- An Adequate Energy Supply
- Working Farm and Ranch Lands
According to the NRCS, “The Strategic Plan sets the direction for NRCS and
describes our conservation priorities and goals. Bold, forward-looking, and far-reaching, this
plan challenges us to reformulate some past approaches and develop and adopt new approaches.
This plan will guide NRCS in implementing key overarching strategies, managing agency business
lines, meeting customer needs, and developing and strengthening capacity to achieve our mission
goals.” (USDA-NRCS 2006).